Diet and Nutrition: Eating Healthy
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human body, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”Thomas Edison
Eating healthy is a subject that is often overlooked, especially by mainstream medical professionals. Since we are natural biological organisms, eating healthy is the key to disease prevention, more energy, and healthy aging. We must learn to care of our own body, through eating (healthy foods), and expanding our knowledge of what will help our health. After all:
• We alone live in our body;
• We are responsible for feeding it correctly, and
• We alone bear, or will bear, the direct consequences of eating habits and life-styles out of line with our natural biological requirements.
p.As we age, good health becomes more and more critical. I’m not talking about when you are in your 70’s, 80’s or 90’s, but when you are in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.
Drugs and high-tech approaches to disease “management”, are slowly yielding to overwhelming amounts of research evidence, dating back to the 1950’s that supports the importance of a healthy diet and nutrients in healing, and disease prevention.
Go to article: Overcoming heart disease with a healthy diet.
Of course we must eat, but we also need to get the correct nutrition so that we can live our lives enjoying good health, energy, freedom from drugs, and peace of mind as we are aging. Eating a healthy diet, increases your ability to live a drug free, long and healthy life, doing what you love, and retiring with the ability to still enjoy an active life. The bottom line: good health is all about nutrition.
Most fundamental to health is the fact that the entire human body is made from foods, water, air, and light.
My Goal In This Section
This is a huge subject, and I will not attempt to cover every area here. My goal is to give you solid information, encourage you to do some research on your own, and help you to make better choices for your health and wellness. Your future depends on you being actively involved in eating healthy, and making better choices for your diet and nutrition.
When you consider that as recently as the late 1980s, many of the leaders in the field of nutrition, such as The Public Nutrition Information Committee, had strong ties to the beef, dairy and egg industries. It’s really all about the money. You cannot fully trust what you hear in the mainstream media. I encourage you to do your own research to find the real answers to your best health and nutrition, for you, and for your family. We should not simply “pass off” the responsibility for our future health, or lack of it, to people whose main interest is in seeing how much money they can make from us.
We ARE What We Eat
Our lives are all about what we eat, or don’t eat. Our over processed food, with it’s bad fat, high sugar content, and empty calories, is not doing the job to create the health we all desire, it is not healthy eating. Part of the problem has to do with the way our food is grown. We produce abundant quantity but not quality. Our bodies need the nutrients that are contained in food grown in a way that retains the nutritional value, even after it reaches our tables.
How Nutritious Is Our Food?
For the most part, the food in a typical supermarket has been fast-tracked for volume, maximum profit, visual appeal (packaging, and artificial colors), but not nutrition. It’s encouraging to see more and more organic sections in some of these same markets, but even these foods have lost a large percentage of their nutritive value by the time they are picked, packed and trucked to the market, which makes it more difficult to watch our diet and eat healthy. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to buy locally grown and produced products to get the highest nutritive value from them. If this simply is not possible, believe it or not, some of the organic “flash frozen” foods retain a higher percentage of nutrients, and taste, since they are allowed to ripen naturally, then picked, and immediately frozen.
“Fresh” produce that has been grown in Mexico, Chile or some other remote location, has usually been picked “green” and shipped to different locations. When a food is picked green, it is not allowed to mature and build the flavors and nutrients as it would when allowed to ripen naturally. I do think that Mexico has the best avocados!
Where Can I Get Good Quality Food?
Fortunately, more and more people are deciding that enough is enough: they want good, nutritious food, and are paying more attention to their diets and looking for more ways to eat healthier. Families are also starting to work together to improve their children’s nutrition to lose weight and get involved in exercise programs. This has led to an incredible movement and change in the grocery industry. You can also shop at:
• Farm stands,
• Farmer’s markets,
• Directly from the grower,
• Even Costco!
If you really think about it, you will realize that most of the large companies that are producing our food are not in the business of nutrition, they are in the business of making money, period. The less it costs to produce the food product, the more they make. Your health, and your family’s health is really not that important, only getting you to buy their products is.
Producing high quality, high nutrition food on a large scale is expensive compared to using chemicals to grow it. One of the main problems when you grow food with chemicals, is depletion of the minerals in the soil. Normal, healthy soil has an abundance of minerals in it, which are “processed” by plants and put into a form that we can use in our bodies. We cannot produce minerals ourselves, and they are critical for our health and for the utilization of vitamins in your body. When you add up the real costs of poor quality, low nutrition, chemically grown foods, it is staggering:
• Poor long term health;
• A life time of prescription drug use, and cost.
Does that make sense to you?
The USDA has known about the soil mineral depletion problem since the early part of the 20th century. In the 1930’s, there was even a bill proposed to deal with the problem of mineral depletion in America’s farmland. It is not just a quick fix by getting rid of chemicals; there are other poor farming methods that are not showing good stewardship of the land. Some of the foods that are in the supermarket can actually be classified as foods that harm your health instead of foods that heal your health.
How Important Is Nutrition?
Nutrition had a different meaning in the beginning and middle of the last century. A quote from Thomas Edison, that I started this page with, indicates the importance placed on nutrition: “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human body, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” We all owe a lot to Edison’s “brilliance”, and intelligence, and we should take what he said seriously.
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also the most preventable, through proper nutrition, and a
Conventional physicians treat chronic diseases with expensive pharmaceuticals that may temporarily relieve the painful or uncomfortable symptoms, but these drugs do nothing to resolve the underlying cause, and usually cause other side effects and additional serious problems. Some even cause death.
Because what we eat or do not eat affects our immune system, organ function, hormonal balance and cellular metabolism, many of these chronic diseases can be traced to a nutrition deficiency. When the deficiency is not corrected, symptoms begin to appear and eventually lead to disease and premature aging. Even the American Medical Association “suggested” in 2002 that 97% of Americans are nutritionally deficient and should take some kind of a vitamin to help make up that deficiency.
Do you know that there are THOUSANDS of scientific studies proving that cancer, heart disease, and other major killers in this country, can be prevented and cured by eating healthy, and eating a diet, like a vegetarian diet, that is more geared toward vegetables than towards meat and dairy products? Juicing, eating fewer processed foods, and simply taking charge of what you choose to eat and drink, will change your life, now, and as you age.
So, What About My Doctor, Does She or He Know About Proper Nutrition?
In the majority of cases the answer is unfortunately NO. It is interesting to note that the biochemistry textbooks used in medical schools in the 1920’s and 1930’s reveals that the quality of food, balanced nutrition, and healthy eating were emphasized. In fact, out of 16 chapters in Meyer Bodansky’s 1927 Introduction to Physiology Chemistry:
• Three chapters described the chemistry of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins;
• Two chapters described digestion and absorption;
• Four described intermediary metabolism;
• One described animal calorimetry, and;
• One described animal nutrition.
That’s 11 out of 16 chapters that relate to nutrition. In fact, in 1934 Bodansky expanded the textbook by 200 pages, and expanded the nutrition section to include a discussion of protein requirements, the indispensability of fat, and the role of vitamins. Since his first edition, ascorbic acid (Vit. C) had been isolated and synthesized, linoleic acid was identified as an essential fatty acid, and other vitamins and trace minerals were shown to be essential to the diet, and an essential part of a healthy diet.
What About in Modern Times?
Well, take a look at these facts:
• In a 1977 survey, Physicians scored 65% on nutrition test questions;
• In a 1989 survey, Physicians scored 69% on nutrition test questions;
• In 1988 tests, medical school students rated as unsatisfactory in nutrition knowledge. Senior medical students scored an average of 69%;
• 1995, physicians correctly answered questions in drug-nutrient interaction 61% of the time.
Now, the point here is that, these are highly intelligent, highly trained medical professionals, and they don’t know about the basis of life, healthy eating and nutrition. They don’t know how to keep you healthy and prevent disease. They DO know how to prescribe drugs to treat the symptoms.
Poor Nutrition is Deadly
Six of the ten leading causes of death in the United States are directly related to lack of a healthy diet and proper nutrition. Yet most physicians receive very little, if any, formal training in nutrition. During the 1970’s and early 1980’s, no medical schools in the U.S. required students to take a nutrition class. As of 1985, only two medical schools taught more than 25 hours of courses in nutrition.
March 2007. It’s been almost a century since the science of nutrition was heavily taught in medical schools. So where do we stand?
Over 125,000 people are dying in the U.S. each year, that’s one every five minutes, from properly prescribed drugs. That is twice as many deaths in a single year from properly prescribed drugs as the total number of U.S. deaths from the Vietnam war. The sad thing is, the majority of these people were being treated for conditions that could have been prevented with proper nutrition and healthy eating and natural supplementation, (vitamins).
What Can I Do?
Well, it depends on how serious you are about good health and being healthy as you are aging. There are a lot of books out on nutrition and health, anti aging diets; anti aging supplements and vitamins, etc., and it can seem like a daunting task to find the one that is right for you and actually shows you how to have a healthy diet.
Simply start slowly, don’t try to do it all at once. Try combining a partial, or full, vegetarian diet with other healthy foods. Stop drinking soda, especially diet soda (look up aspartame sometime). Just take it one step at a time.
A really good book to start with that will open your eyes is called: The China Study. It has been called the most complete nutritional study ever undertaken, and is based on solid science.
The bottom line is, keep in mind as you are reading any book on nutrition or food, that we all have the same basic needs, and it begins with eating healthy, so that is your starting point.
Remember this statement from the beginning of this page: “For the most part, the food in a typical supermarket has been fast-tracked for volume, maximum profit, visual appeal (packaging, and artificial colors), but not nutrition.” The same holds true for how we prepare our food. Always remember that nutrition is not an option, it is a necessity for good health now, and as we are aging. Your children’s nutrition depends on you to make the best decisions for them, it’s a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly. You are also responsible for your own health, good or bad. You want to be healthy when your children become adults, and you also want to be able to do things with your grandchildren. None of that is possible without good health.
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